“Stop interrupting me with your silence!” is an Eva O’Connor quote, and exactly how I felt when we shuffled into a stand up comedy/sketch show and realised we were going to be the only members of the audience. But a smile flashing from Mr Showman welcomed us, making it already too late. We took our seats. As he piled hyper energy and sweat into his British political jokes, we returned the compliment by pretending the Lib-Dem cricket jokes didn’t soar over our Irish heads and breaking the silence with exaggerated laughing followed by genuine giggles at the whole situation. It didn’t help that it was a show with audience participation. We’re all performers here.
The average fringe audience is six. Its not really that surprising considering that there are over 400 shows on each day and the population of the city triples. Apparently. But that means that there are shows where nobody turns up. After all that time and effort invested into their elaborate plays and forms of expression, these people pour themselves out, laying bear to the harsh judgement of the 3 or 4 friends-of-a-show who got complimentary tickets into the venue.
So it’s a good thing for many that I’m an easy laugh. I’ll admit it. And I haven’t worked out if that’s a good or a bad thing. Does it mean I am a simpleton, unable to decipher good from bad comedy, giving out disproportionate appreciation? Does it reflect some sort of deep insecurity and inability to handle silence? Or does it make me “positive”, able to enjoy people’s quirkiness whatever form that may take? Either way, if anyone interrupts me with their silence, I usually find it a little bit funny.